Engaging and interacting with other cultures is one of the greatest thrills of taking a GiANT Experience!
For me those GiANT Experiences have taken me to some of the greatest wonders of the world. From Machu Picchu to the Taj Mahal, the sights and sounds of the world have gained my attention.
The most exciting part has been meeting and interacting with leaders from around the world. Together we have exchanged philosophies and ideas on how to make the world a better place. In fact, we have had an impact in a variety of ways.
My good friend and compatriot, Ross Hill, has journeyed with me and other CEO’s to many parts of the world. Anyone who has met Ross loves him. If they are with him for very long, they soon realize he is passionate about golf.
On our recent GiANT Experience to China, Ross felt compelled to explore ways to use golf as a way to make an eternal difference in the lives of top leaders.
Following one of our China Values Leadership Forums, Ross was invited to a round of golf at a prestigious Shenzhen golf course.
With little notice, Ross disappeared with a forum participant named Harry.
As our team was leaving for a private meeting with local leaders, my Chinese business partner asked as to where Ross had disappeared. I informed him that Ross had gone golfing with Harry.
“Harry?” came my partners reply. “Who is Harry?”
“Harry was at the forum,” I said.
“I am very concerned that Ross has been abducted. I do not know of a Harry who attended the forum,” my business partner expressed with great concern.
Our China team went into panic worried that our banker buddy had been kidnapped. The thought of raising ransom money was heavy on their thoughts!
After several calls and following a search at several golf courses, Ross was indeed found swinging and walking the local greens with his new Chinese friend.
“Ross is not with Harry! He is with Harry,” came the response from my business partner.
I said, “I don’t understand. He isn’t with Harry? He is with Harry?”
“Yes, Harry,” they said.
“Harry?” I said.
“No, Harry!” they replied.
While relieved he had not been found gagged and bound with duct tape, the communication breakdown remained. I was confused.
Then it happened. My Chinese business partner began to laugh.
“Not Harry, H.E.N.R.Y. –Henry! he said.
We all began to laugh as yet another mystery had been solved. The Chinese said Henry, but the Americans heard Harry.
They say Henry. We hear Harry! They say, Harry. And we hear Harry. To us Henry and Harry are one and the same but for the Chinese the difference between Henry and Harry was the difference between panic and praise!
In short order the exchange between leaders soon resumed and the would be calamities faded away.
Later I could not help but reflect on the whole ordeal and think of how many times I have worried and fretted about things that ultimately never come to pass.
How often I see or hear things one way only to discover that my worry was founded in a poor perspective.
All to often I see things as a “Harry” ordeal. When in fact I have been dealing with a Henry-sized problem, an issue or circumstance that is really no big deal.
When facing the “Harrys” and “Henrys” of life, I hope I will learn to laugh and trust the one who loves me most will never give me more than I can handle.
To Him, Harry and Henry are the same. With Him at my side I can experience life without need of worry as I keep walking and swinging my way through the greens of life!